Travel Documents

PASSPORT VALIDITY
Please check today to make sure that you know the location of where your passport is, that it is not expired, or is about to expire. Your passport must valid for six months after our return date. If it is not, you may not be allowed to board your flight(s). To review information about ordering or renewing your passport visit the U.S. Department of State- Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

VISA RULES
If you are traveling to Israel on a USA, Canadian, or European Union member country passport, you do not need a visa to enter Israel. If you are traveling on a passport from another country (e.g. Russia, Ukraine, etc.), you may need a visa to enter Israel. Our office is able to provide you with an official ticket confirmation letter to assist with issuing any required visas or passport extensions.

  • Plan to carry a photocopy of your passport during the program. Though BBYO Passport staff will hold onto your passport for safekeeping on the road, we recommend bringing a passport copy to place in your wallet, backpack, and suitcase at all times as a back-up form of identification.
  • Check that the name you used to register for the program matches your passport. If you registered with a nickname, your ticket will be printed accordingly, and you may be denied boarding. Contact us to make any corrections as soon as possible, a name change fee may apply.

 

RULES FOR ISRAELI CITIZENS OR CHILDREN OF ISRAELI CITIZENS
If you hold an Israeli passport you must enter Israel with your Israeli passport. If either of your parents is Israeli citizens, you may still have obligations to the State of Israel that must be worked out prior to your trip, even if you do not have an Israeli passport. It is critical that you take care of these matters before you arrive in Israel. If you do not, you may be obligated to stay in Israel until matters are resolved, and you will be solely responsible for any costs involved. We recommend being cautious about these matters and contacting one of the regional Israel consulate offices if you have questions.

Taking Flight

Details about the group flight and how to meet at the airport are announced by the end of April and posted to your registration account. Contact us if you need assistance accessing the document. All tickets are issued electronically and staff will have a copy of your e-ticket (electronic ticket) at the airport.

AIRLINE SEATING & POINTS

  • Seating is pre-assigned by the airline on our group flights. Special requests can be made at check-in, but not ahead of departure.
  • If desired, teens are responsible for obtaining reward points via the airline using the ticket information obtained at check-in. Please provide the agent at the counter with your appropriate information upon check to receive your reward points, or you may call the airline at a later time to obtain reward points.

LUGGAGE RULES
Check with your specific airline for the most updated terms, however, the following are the basic luggage rules for transatlantic group flights:

  • Checked Luggage: One bag of no more than 50 pounds and no more than 30 inches long
  • Carry-on Luggage: One carry-on backpack

When deciding what kind of luggage to bring, keep in mind you will need to load your luggage on/off the bus and to/from our accommodations; try to keep it manageable. Be sure to bring luggage on wheels (we suggest a rolling duffel). Before packing, please review updated restrictions on the TSA website.

Please Note: Luggage cannot be checked all the way from your home airport through to Poland. You will need to pick up your luggage when you arrive in New York. We may be on chartered flights for the entire trip.

You will be receiving two BBYO Passport luggage tags and a t-shirt just before the trip. Make sure to fill out the luggage tags and affix them to your carry-on and checked luggage.

MEETING AT THE AIRPORT
Plan to meet the group in the check-in area of our departure terminal four hours in advance of the group flight. If you are taking a domestic flight to meet the group, please make sure it lands at least five hours before our departure. Starting at six hours prior to departure our team will be wearing staff t-shirts and will greet teens as they arrive at our meeting location. The BBYO Passport t-shirt that you will receive before the program should be worn on departure day.

We recommend that teens arrive at the airport with their personal cell phone and a portable charger in case they need to contact a member of our team. Please be sure that teens cell phone number is listed in your registration account.

When making your travel arrangements, we recommend that you consider ground travel to our departure airport as this greatly reduces the chances of flight delays. If you are traveling to the gateway airport on a connecting flight, we recommend arriving a day in advance of our international departure. An optional supervised airport hotel stay-over may be available for this purpose (see below). If you arrive on the day of departure, please allow plenty of time to spare.

SUPERVISED AIRPORT HOTEL STAY-OVERS
Optional supervised hotel stay-overs may be available on the night before your group’s departure and the night of your group’s return, if requested in advance. The cost of the supervised hotel stay-over is $200 per person which includes dinner and breakfast. Exact hotel arrangements and meeting instructions will be available at a later date. During the hotel stayover, teens are not permitted to leave the hotel for any reason without making prior arrangements with our staff.

Sign-up for the supervised hotel stay-over by emailing [email protected]. Space is limited, and we may not be able to fulfill requests within a month of departure.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE DELAYED
If you are delayed on departure day and will not meet the group on time, please send an email to [email protected]. If possible, we will re-schedule you on the next available flight. However, please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that we will be able to do so, and you will likely be traveling without staff. Additional fees may apply.

Parent Tip: The optional group travel insurance policy includes coverage for missed connections and travel delays. It is a great value and protects your teens travel. We recommend that every parent purchase it for their child. For more information on group travel insurance, review our insurance page.

ARRIVAL PROCEDURES
On arrival, we proceed to passport control (customs) and then meet at baggage claim. Our Israel staff will have signs and will be wearing special badges to identify them. In baggage claim, there will be time for restroom breaks and to use an ATM*, but do not wander beyond baggage claim without staff. From there, we proceed to the bus loading zone which is where pre-ordered rental cell phones/SIM cards will be distributed.

*A currency exchange representative will meet the group in the bus loading zone. The exchange rate provided is better than what is available inside the airport baggage claim area – and much faster, too!

RETURNING HOME
We typically clear customs and baggage claim within 60-90 minutes of arrival. If scheduling a connecting flight home, allow for a window of at least three hours between flights within the same airport. Our staff will be on hand to escort teens through baggage claim and direct them to their connecting flights as requested, but our staff will not be available to escort teens to connecting flight terminals. While we will do our best to assist with any connecting flight delays, we cannot commit to having staff at the airport for more than three hours after the group's return.

Money Matters

The group flight, sleeping accommodations, all meals, in-country transportation, basic health insurance (excluding pre-existing conditions), and all program activities are covered by the core program fees. The only spending that is your responsibility will be snacks, souvenirs, gifts, hotel internet usage, and optional laundry service when we arrive in Israel. We estimate that $150-$200 is sufficient to cover all such expenses.

HOW TO BRING MONEY ABROAD
There are a number of ways to bring money abroad. Please read this section carefully, and keep in mind that BBYO Passport will be unable to facilitate money transfers to teens during the program, please plan accordingly.

Personal ATM / Credit Cards
If you choose to use your personal ATM card or credit card, we would ask that you be aware of
the following:

  • If your ATM card has a Visa, MasterCard, Star, Cirrus, or Maestro logo imprint, you should not have any issues withdrawing money while abroad. Other ATM network cards may work, but we encourage you to check with your local bank prior to travel.
  • Some participants have experienced difficulty withdrawing money from savings accounts. We strongly recommend that ATM cards be linked to checking accounts only to prevent any potential complications in Poland and Israel.
  • Major credit cards like VISA and MasterCard are also accepted throughout Poland and Israel. Please contact your bank to inform them you are traveling abroad and will be using your cards to make purchases.
  • Please do not send your child with prepaid gift/credit cards as they will likely not be accepted abroad.

Check with your bank before travel to find out service fee charges when using ATMs and credit cards internationally.

Cash Money
US and Canadian dollars are not accepted abroad. If you plan to bring cash with you, either plan to exchange it to local currency before you depart for the program or at the airport in Israel. There will be very few opportunities to exchange funds during the program itself. If you are looking to purchase souvenirs on the program, most stores will accept credit cards. You will only need cash to use at smaller stores and stalls. We recommend mainly using credit cards during the program and using cash for times when credit is not accepted.

ABOUT LOCAL CURRENCIES
In Israel, the local currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Each shekel is worth about $0.25 USD.

In Poland, the national currency is the Zloty – with one Polish Zloty currently worth approximately $0.30 USD

local-israeli-currencies

Keep in mind, coins in Israel come in higher values than what we are used to in North America. This means you need to watch your coins carefully. Additionally, keep in mind that there are 5 Shekel coins (~$1.45 USD) and 5 Agorot coins (~$0.01 USD). It is important to know the difference between the 10, 5 and 1 Shekel and Agorot coins, as they have drastically different values.

Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, please check the rates prior to your trip.